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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of Aurora-B kinase and phosphorylated histone H3 in hepatocellular carcinoma.

BACKGROUND: Aurora-B, a chromosomal passenger protein forming a complex with INCENP (inner centromere protein) and survivin, regulates stable bipolar spindle-kinetochore attachment in mitosis and chromosome segregation and cytokinesis. It was recently documented that Aurora-B directly phosphorylated histone H3, not only at Ser10, but also at Ser28, which contributed to chromosome number instability and mitotic chromosome condensation. This study aimed at investigating the expression of Aurora-B kinase (Aurora-B) and phosphorylated histone H3 (H3-P) and their roles in hepatocellular carcinogenesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expressions of Aurora-B and H3-P were examined in hepatocellular carcinoma ( HCC) by immunohistochemistry. A hepatoblastoma cell line, HepG2, was targeted and the isolation and characterization of alternative variants of Aurora-B were carried out. The Aurora encoding protein was detected in COS-7 transfected with different Aurora transcripts by Western blot. Finally, the expression of Aurora-B and its variant forms was examined in 17 HCCs by RT-PCR. RESULTS: Immunohistochemically, Aurora-B was observed only in a few cases of HCC, while H3-P expression was more frequently detected in carcinoma foci than in non-carcinoma foci (p < 0.05). The isolation and characterization of two alternative variant forms of Aurora-B (termed Aurora-B1 and -B2) in the HepG2 cell line were successful. Aurora-B-transfected COS-7 cells expressed two different proteins, one of which was similar to the expression product of Aurora-B1 in size. Aurora-B transcripts were detected in 12 out of 17 (70.5%) HCC cases examined. Aurora-B2 was predominantly detected in 9 (52.9%) cases, while regular Aurora-B and Aurora-B1 were detected in 6 (35.2%) and 7 (41.1%) cases, respectively. CONCLUSION: Aberrant expression of Aurora-B and H3-P plays a role in hepatocarcinogenesis. Alterative splicing of Aurora-B produces different sizes of proteins in HCC. Temporally altered phosphorylation of histone-H3 in the entire cell cycle may up-regulate the entry of HCC into the cell cycle to enhance their proliferation.[1]


  1. Expression of Aurora-B kinase and phosphorylated histone H3 in hepatocellular carcinoma. Sistayanarain, A., Tsuneyama, K., Zheng, H., Takahashi, H., Nomoto, K., Cheng, C., Murai, Y., Tanaka, A., Takano, Y. Anticancer Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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